Policymic (via Brad Woodhouse):
Food stamps are considered a mode of government spending with a high multiplier effect. In other words, when someone is poor and using food stamps (which are now in debit card form) this often triggers more economic activity than it costs. Republicans should find a target for their ire that is less effective at stimulating the economy.
However, what happens is Republicans take the opposite approach. They believe that giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires is the best way to stimulate economic growth. The only problem with that is reality.
Economists say that providing food stamps might be the most stimulative action the government can take. Tax cuts for the wealthy ranks around 12th.
I’m not against tax cuts for the wealthy out of any disdain for the wealthy. I prefer everyone would keep 100% of his or her money, but I’m not sure our system that helps generate the wealth would continue to operate. So, the question is, do Republican approaches work? Who do they work for? Do they work long term?
As far as I can tell, Bush was able to stimulate the economy for a while using Republican approaches, but at the end of his time in office it entirely imploded. Reagan, same thing. I think the economy had another collapse right after he left office. So, what about the food stamp issue? Why are Republicans so concerned about it?
Charts of food stamp usage show that while a few Democrat led states have high food stamp usage; food stamp usage is highest consistently across Republican states. What does that say about the Republican approach?
To me, it says that the top down, trickle down theory of economics fails the poor. Under conditions where the poor were helped, one would expect that there would be less reliance on food stamps. People would receive short-term support, a little assistance getting on their feet, maybe some job training, or some assistance paying for community college and would be on their way.
If the poor are uplifted even just slightly then they become tax payers rather than living off food stamps. Republicans are angry about food stamp usage because they have failed to uplift the poor in their states. The top down, trickle down, economic approach has broken social mobility in Republican led states. Republicans are angry because their failed economic approach leaves them with fewer tax payers and more people on welfare.
Would it shock you to learn that Brad Woodhouse is the Democratic Party Communications Director? I was shocked to learn that which party controls your state determines the rate of food stamp usage. I would have thought that demographics and the types of industry in the various states would be a big factor.
I live in a area where food stamp usage is very high, but according to the chart the overall state rate is low. We have a Democratic governor right now, but he only took office at the beginning of 2011, so which kind of state are we?
But here’s what I don’t understand. According to the author (Benjamin Feinblum) food stamp usage stimulates the economy. Assuming that’s true, wouldn’t the states with the highest food stamp usage have the most stimulated economies?